Should students join Greek life on campus?
Many people do not know what lies behind the letters of the Greek alphabet in the names of fraternities and sororities (student organizations are usually called by the three letters of the Greek alphabet, like Gamma Phi Beta or Phi Beta Kappa). In the search for information about such groups, it is possible to meet forums where future students try to decide whether they need to become members of the Greek letter organizations (GLOs). There is nothing surprising in such uncertainty, given the aura of secrecy hanging over student associations.
What really happens within the walls of the GLOs is known only to its members, who are reluctant to share insider information with journalists, or show to those who are curious. Nevertheless, based on the data reaching the ears of the general public, people are divided into two large camps in relation to this phenomenon.
Some believe that GLOs are the core of student life, an integral part of university culture. Representatives of university culture accuse these GLOs of causing student troubles, and the destruction of moral standards and values of the youth.
Below, you will see the main arguments of the supporters and opponents of the GLOs. After reading them, you will be able to decide whether such organizations are needed at universities.
- GLOs make student life funny and exciting, as many parties and different events are organized.
- The fraternities help the newcomers to plunge into, and adapt to the student environment. This enables them to make new friends and acquaintances, to systemize studies, and even meettrue love through the fraternities very close relations with the sororities.
- Networking is probably the most important plus of fraternities. Membership in a GLO doesn’t just mean loud parties, but also mutual assistance, even that after graduation. You can even ask a friend to write your assignment when you do not have enough time, get help with moving, or perhaps ask for assistance with a job application. Often, brothers help each other out with employment and partnership, and in the modern world, who you know can be considered a tremendous advantage.
- Fraternities are the unions of students on different criteria, interests, and goals. One example would be the so-called professional unions like Pi Tau Sigma, which unites people who specialize in mechanical engineering, helps them to develop in this area, and to subsequently find work.
- Housing for members of the GLOs is often rented by former brothers with a stable income so that their followers can live under the one roof.
The following facts also speak in favor of fraternities:
- 48% of all presidents of America and 42% of all senators were members of the GLOs.
- 85% of the largest United States (US) companies are managed by GLOs participants.
- 75% of congressmen were in fraternities.
- The first female senator was a member of the sorority.
- Moreover, the researchers at the American Institute of Public Opinion believe that they have derived a formula for the good life after college. Through this formula, members of fraternities and female clubs are more predisposed to it than other students.
- Members of fraternities and sororities are great drinkers. Although, if you think that the Ministry of Health lies about the dangers of alcohol, then this item can be considered a plus.
- There is a tradition of introductory tests (hazing) in many fraternities. Most people have watched a movie or TV episodes where the newcomers passed a series of tests to become the members of the organization. True, in films, all this looks ridiculous and fun in nature. However, in real life it can be much crueler, and sometimes such trials end very badly.
- Females from sororities suffer from the discontent with themselves because of the cult of model appearance. The place in the hierarchy of the female GLO largely depends on beauty. Sisters, more often than other students, harm themselves with hungry diets in pursuit of an ideal body.
- Friendship in brotherhoods is bought for money, because without membership fees, it is impossible to become a part of a GLO, even if you fit all the other parameters.
Students are active people, and they always liked to team up. Fraternities appeared together with the first universities of Europe, and if you look deeper into history, even with the first ancient Greek schools. This tradition migrated to America together with the Pilgrim Fathers, more precisely, with the founders of the first US universities.
In 1776, one student failed when trying to become a member of two such fraternities. On December 5 of the same year, this same student founded the first Greek letter organization – Phi Beta Kappa. It was here he became a president without too much modesty. All of the present GLOs conduct their genealogy exactly from this organization.
Women were a little behind in the organization of “female fraternities” (this is how these groups were first called). In America, the first sororities were created in the middle of the XIX century, almost a century later than the first male associations appeared. Though, given the patriarchy of the society of that time, this is not a big gap.
The current erasure of gender boundaries has not bypassed the sororities or education in general. Now, the word “fraternity” very often means any Greek letter organization, regardless of the gender of the members. The mixed living of males and females in the same building (on different floors or just in different rooms) is also not a rare phenomenon.
In general, for almost 300 years of existence, the fraternities have become a controversial socio-cultural phenomenon. They have become a part of American society, and one of the most important and visible aspects of student life. They have both advantages and disadvantages. Should young people join such organizations? There cannot be a universal answer to this question, as it will be different for each individual.
For more great college tips, check out the other blogs on College Basics.